by Jonathan Nda- Isaiah,
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said no amount of praying and fasting can take Nigeria’s economy to the desired growth without commitment and hard work .
According to him, known great economies were built by men and women with patriotic zeal and not spirits while calling for all hands on deck to revive the economic fortunes of the country.
Osinbajo made these assertions during an interactive session with senior civil servants on the recently signed three executive orders on the ease of doing business in Nigeria in Abuja yesterday.
He said, “Great economies and great nations, prosperity and abundance of nations and communities are created by men and not spirits. No matter how much you pray or fast our country cannot grow without some of us deciding to do the hard work that makes nations work. “I am a pastor, a spiritual person, and I understand the law of sowing and reaping. It is a spiritual law that has tremendous physical implications.
“Every time that we delay, or frustrate what we can do today leaving it till tomorrow, we hold back the future, we too must reap what we have sown by experiencing delays. If you help others to achieve, if you help your nation you have sown good seeds you will find help and you will prosper too.
“So don’t see this as government policy. Understand it as personal policy. Understand it as in the third executive order we addressed an issue which the president, President Muhamadu Buhari has described as a cornerstone of our economic policy. The Buy and Use Nigeria Policy.
“The President said at the launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth plan that we must grow what we eat and make what we use. “Just to give an example, we eat a lot of rice, and we import most of it. Yet we can grow enough rice to serve Africa.”
Osinbajo pointed out that civil servants were strategic to making the executive order work, warning them against stifling businesses by delaying their registrations.
“Every generation of people owes the next generation a debt. That debt is paid by ensuring that we provide for the means for the next generation to survive. Or at least we have a duty to ensure that we do not destroy the means of survival and prosperity of the next generation.
“But there are some people in every generation who have a special burden, a more important role than others in preparing for present prosperity and future abundance.
“These group of people are called public servants. You and I who are here today. I have served a the public service most of my adult life. As a university teacher, adviser to federal minister and attorney general. I earned a salary so I understand how salary increases can be such good news. But most importantly I learnt of the power of the public service to change the social, economic and political story of a nation.
He noted, “The power house of the economy, the fastest and most efficient job creator are private businesses. Both small and large, investments, both local and foreign. Everyone who starts a business, invests in an existing business or expands a going concern, creates opportunities for jobs, jobs mean money in people’s pockets, it means that whole families can survive, live well and pay taxes, so that government can continue to provide services, build schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure.”